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Question Getting started in the backcountry

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by irrgent, May 10, 2020.

  1. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    unpopular thing to say but I agree totally. It's not even death it's injury and frankly fear. Having to deal with either solid ice on those western rolls at the top of everything, or when the whole lot chinks solid at 3:45 in the arvo... uggh.
     
  2. Jacko4650

    Jacko4650 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Just when you think you have spent enough money on gear, you read threads like this. Sigh!
     
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  3. Chaeron

    Chaeron A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Carrying ski crampons and boot crampons and an ice axe....if expecting those conditions.

    So far I’ve broken out the ski crampons - but not yet needed the rest as I’ve generally avoided icy steeps out BC - don’t want to end up in those conditions on a solo trip. Still carry the ice axe and boot crampons if heading into steeper terrain and the conditions are marginal or worsening.
     
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  4. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I took up mountain biking, so skiing seems cheaper.

    I usually only buy new gear to replace worn out, or when the tech makes a jump, so you end up with multiples of things that are still good, just not as good, haha. Sleeping bag was the last one, my old bags still work fine, but the shell material is so much better now, you almost don't need a bivvy bag. I think I have 4 bags still.

    Ice, breakable crust, incredible sastrugi, rocks, wet IMO are the main dangers. Learning to read the snow, be observant, look at how everything forms, what the wind does to it.
     
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  5. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, I have a no adrenaline rule for solo, which I do a lot of side country trips solo. Only ever break it by accident haha. But I never go out solo with a big line in mind.

    Until you have a slide (ice) its easy to be a bit blasé about just how dangerous that is. In my case with no tools, I tried the alternate self arrest techniques, which did **** all. I was lucky not to hit anything, and the terrain mellowed out enough for me to self arrest with poles. It took about 100 metres.
     
  6. Bonsi

    Bonsi Hard Yards

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    Best to have a experienced buddy to ski with. You can learn so many little things in a day that have taken a life time of BC skiing to figure out. You'll have more fun. But never be shy to speak out, experience isn't everything. Your safety is #1.
     
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  7. skull

    skull One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Navigation with map and compass is surprisingly simple and easy enough to do. Just needs real life application to learn properly over just the theory.

    Knowing you paces and trusting your bearings are probably the most challenging aspect in close country. However that isn't going to be an issue for BC (EDIT: Unless of course you lose visibility).
     
  8. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    and that was just the carpark!
     
  9. Interruptedbyfireworks

    Interruptedbyfireworks One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I've never heard this much about ice before, I must admit you're all scaring me a little bit. My least favourite thing is the "scrrrrrrrr" sound of my edges hitting ice, particularly when going down the steep sheet-ice part of High Noon. Are you all saying it could be worse than that?

    Should I get crampons for my splitboard before I head out?
     
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  10. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    unless its spring, our BC is ice / coral reef 4 to 5 days out of 7, for most of the day.

    yes, ice is #1 risk
     
  11. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhahahahahahahahahaha
     
  12. Chaeron

    Chaeron A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not gonna rick-roll you but...



    Off topic much?
     
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  13. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    This cannot be emphasised enough. A quite few of us will remember that it was an uncontrollable fall on ice that took Graeme from us.
     
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  14. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Don’t panic.

    You pretty much have too much info to deal with now.

    Priority before the season is to be a fit as you can be.
     
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  15. Interruptedbyfireworks

    Interruptedbyfireworks One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Ok. I’ll try not to overthink it.

    At the moment I’m probably the fittest I’ve been in years so at least that’s a positive then
     
  16. Interruptedbyfireworks

    Interruptedbyfireworks One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Ps sorry to OP for the hijack
     
  17. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Love both of these. Though lucky enough that +0.95 (Mk III), who is often in tow, is pretty handy at putting broken bodies back together. Might get to do the Golden Eagle this year :D
     
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  18. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Ha.
     
  19. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Quick skim of this thread but it seems the very important issue of snacks has been overlooked.
     
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  20. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Golden Eagle? I barely dare to look at it and I've never skied it.

    If you do claim to ski it this year, as the old line goes, "photos or it didn't happen".

    B.T.W. While the ski run is better known as the Golden Eagle these days, in the 1950s, when there was a lift servicing the run, it was originally just the Eagle and the Golden Eagle was a medal awarded to people who skied it under a certain time (a bit less than 2 minutes from memory). But in the past 60+ years the name of the award appears to have supplanted the name of the run.
     
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  21. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I intend to do plenty of turns on the way down :thumbs:
     
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  22. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Snow poles/huts/pootubes :out:
     
  23. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The latter and a lack of personalised parking keeps the BC an Astro free zone.
     
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  24. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Axe and boot crampons are a whole different skill set. You have to re learn how to self arrest and it becomes easier to make your way into more dangerous situations.
     
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  25. Rimey

    Rimey One of Us

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    I did mention a beer back on page 1 !
     
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  26. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Booting out Vibram soles are really shit for self arresting.
     
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  27. Rimey

    Rimey One of Us

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    Memorable afternoon on a climb up left of the Golden Eagle. There was a thin crust. A light breeze got under it and bits of the crust floated in the vortex like white autumn leaves ...
     
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  28. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    When a problem comes along you must WHIPPETT !! ( self arrest ski pole joke).
     
  29. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Flexible micro spikes can work in icy terrain .However they do not fit as snugly and safely to your boots as Grivel Crampons do. Kahtoola micro spikes fit nicely into your jacket pocket( small and light) with your kicker skins in the other pocket.
     
  30. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    That is one reason why ski touring the Mt. Nelse area for example is best in early September.
     
  31. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Did Golden Eagle for the first time ever last spring, I always looked over there, but was always heading somewhere more interesting. Its a really lovely run, quite steep at the top, you jump off the little cornice and then is just fun easy steep. We went wide into the cliff bands though, the actual line is very straight forward.
     
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  32. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  33. BrianWilson

    BrianWilson One of Us

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    Brings back memories eh Rimey
     
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  34. Bloke

    Bloke One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, as a general rule, skiing east: not intimidating; skiing west: potentially intimidating
     
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  35. BrianWilson

    BrianWilson One of Us

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    Always wear a helmet.

    Learn to touch everything only once - much more efficient and saves energy - @Belly knows what I mean

    Pack crampons. I remember @Snow Blowey sliding down west side of Rams Head at a rate of knots after slipping on ice.

    Move at your pace. Slow and steady wins the day.

    If you get a chance in summer, have a walk around and get the lay of the land and the names of each of the peaks. Will help you get a sense of distance and time needed to move about.
     
  36. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    When in appropriate terrain, absolutely.

    But I've come across folks wearing helmets skiing from Guthega power station to Kiandra. Seemed a little excessive. Sunhat would have been more suitable.
     
  37. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    I think these are a waste of time in the BC and more for car parks. Unless it’s flat terrain on anything but soft ice your going to get in trouble. Sorry MT
     
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  38. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    See Carveman's sig.
     
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  39. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    That is why I said real crampons are better. Thanks for agreeing with me in a strange sort of way. I would rather go up the Eskdale spur on Mt. Bogong in MSR snow shoes on boiler plate than micro spikes.It would be safer. The front toe area fangs in those heel riser MSR snow shoes have some merit.
    Some days at Mt. Stirling it is like ascending polished metal. Kicker skins on BC XC skis are good and I have used them with micro spikes ,chopping and changing as the terrain requires.
     
    #89 Mister Tee on XC Skis, May 12, 2020
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
  40. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Even better, dress so you maintain a slight chill. Your muscles will work more effeciently and you wont need to carry as much water.
     
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  41. Team Weasel

    Team Weasel One of Us

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    Ya'll talking too much. Turns already being earned. :D
     
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  42. Endless_Winter

    Endless_Winter One of Us

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    Know what “mood” the mountain is in (combo of weather, snow condition, wind, sun and avalanche potential - these will all vary with aspect and elevation - some days she’s a fluffy pussycat, other days a wild tiger), be cognisant of your ability to deal with these conditions and change your plan when she’s not happy i.e. have some goals for the day, but remain flexible.

    risk = probability multiplied by consequences. Act accordingly.

    Always take a headlamp, extra set of gloves and a shovel.

    Australia and ski crampons go together like a horse and carriage, particularly for boarders.
     
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  43. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ice has been raised.

    I don't have coroner's reports but think it possible that Dr Graeme here may have fallen foul of it and that Dr Blair on Bogong last winter ditto.
    There's been a few injury reports here over the years owing to it.
    Injuries include a range of soft tissue damage.
    My guess is that it causes more trauma than avalanches. I put that to Matt at Falls Ck ski patrol, who guides groups up Bogong and has run avy awareness courses, and he agreed.
    We tend to tour in spring when icy mornings are the norm. We all know how ugly it is to get started then with a heavy pack.
    I've found that kickers help quite a lot but when touring with a guide in NZ wall to walls were a requirement and ski or boot crampons were taken to the big mountains.
    TP has mentioned self-arrest. That needs to be practised till it becomes automatic and may still involve the uncertain business of getting over on your front first. In that case, binding release will be your closest friend instantly.
     
  44. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    I've heard that DPS skis are great in the backcountry. So you should definitely look at them when you're buying BC gear.

    Just what I've heard. No affiliation with anyone from anywhere but I hear things, you know.;)
     
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  45. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Do they build splitters?
     
  46. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Homemade. Just use a hacksaw ;-)

    Ah... could have made two splitboard setups to sell last week. Missed business opportunity.
     
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  47. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Yeah, they come pre-split.;)
     
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  48. nfip

    nfip Cold n' Rusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  49. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    Do DPS make a ski that works really well on ice? I only ever see pics of them in powder. What about those of us that search out hard ice? Seems unfair
     
  50. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Always been pretty happy with mine.

    Sure I grumble about the 112s on ice but that really is on the cat tracks when running flat & pre coffee.
     
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